Amidst the current cannabis boom, many are still skeptical about the subjects of CBD, THC, medicinal marijuana, and their uses. There is so much information it isn’t easy to distinguish credible facts from myths.
Below is a guide for newcomers in the medical marijuana world and long-time users looking to learn more about medical marijuana.
What is CBD And Medicinal Marijuana?
Medicinal marijuana uses naturally occurring chemicals in the marijuana plant to treat diseases and conditions. It has been legalized in many U.S states and approved by the FDA for the treatment of conditions such as Dravet syndrome, epilepsy, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
The marijuana plant has over 100 cannabinoids, each affecting the body differently. However, CBD and THC are two main cannabinoids that have medicinal values.
On the other hand, CBD is a chemical compound of the cannabinoid family found in the cannabis plant. It goes by the name cannabidiol and is part of the group of over a hundred other cannabinoids. It possesses a unique set of effects and interacts with systems in the human body, making it valuable for many therapeutic reasons. It is used in making anti-anxiety CBD tincture, oil, lotion, and other types of products.
How Do CBD And THC Work?
In summary, CBD interacts with a specific internal system called the endocannabinoid system. It alters the body’s regulatory mechanisms through this system that consists of biological cannabis-like molecules termed endocannabinoids. These molecules collectively behave like neurotransmitters by conveying signals from one point in the body to another to maintain an internal balance – homeostasis.
THC and CBD interact with the same body system through the same receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, the nature of their reactions to the endocannabinoid system is very different.
These two compounds, CBD and THC, differ in that CBD is non-psychoactive. Scientists believe that CBD boosts the production of endocannabinoids. Hence, resulting in effects such as reduced inflammation, pain, and anxiety.
It affects the body and mind in several ways, such as activating the adenosine receptors and minimizing stress and anxiety. Furthermore, CBD hinders the interaction of THC with CB1 receptors to limit the psychoactive effects of THC.
Given its endocannabinoid reactions, CBD has become effective against several medical conditions such as the following:
- Anxiety and depression
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Mental or psychotic disorders
- Different types of pain
Some of the organs and body part that it affects include:
- The brain
- Skeletal system
- Digestive system
- Heart or vascular system
On the other hand, limited research suggests that the active cannabinoid in medicinal marijuana have the following effects:
- Minimize anxiety
- Curbs tumor growth in cancer patients
- Muscle spasticity and pain
- Enhance weight gain and stimulate appetite in cancer and AIDS patients
One of the primary side effects of medicinal marijuana is the state of being high. However, CBD and THC have other effects on the body. Aside from the known side effect of THC usage, the human body tolerates CBD quite well, even higher doses. Usually, users observe mild side effects in different forms when CBD is combined with other medications.
Therefore, always check with your doctor before combining medicinal marijuana with other medications.
Remember that the body stores CBD and THC in fat cells. This means that you can fail a drug test even weeks after your last usage. The claims that drug tests can’t detect CBD is but a myth. Here are two essential facts to remember to settle the issue of drug tests for CBD and THC.
- Usually, drug tests aim to detect THC. Thus, they typically won’t be sensitive to pure CBD when you use these in products. Nonetheless, some tests are also designed to detect CBD. But since CBD is legal in most places, it shouldn’t be an issue.
- Products derived from hemp that contain THC below 0.3% will not show up on the drug test. However, since the cannabis market is highly unregulated, you cannot be sure of the THC content until you procure a third-party certificate of analysis.
For the skeptics, here are some medical researches that prove the effectiveness of cannabinoids.
The FDA approved Epidiolex in 2018 for its effectiveness against two rare types of epilepsy.
The Harvard health Publishing posted an article about CBD by Peter Grinspoon that considered CBD, its effect on the body, its legality and safety, and how it differs from other cannabinoids such as THC.
In another article by the Depression Alliance, the publisher summarized the latest scientific proofs of CBD to clarify people’s misconceptions about this hemp-derived compound.
Benefits of Using CBD And Medicinal Marijuana
Now a closer look at some of the benefits of CBD.
Pain relief – Medicinal marijuana has been in use for several centuries as a painkiller. However, CBD offers a new solution for pain without the side effects of marijuana.
Treat depression and Anxiety – There are pharmaceutical drugs for depression and anxiety, but CBD provides a less harmful option for those dealing with these conditions.
Alleviation of cancer-related symptoms – Side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy, including nausea and vomiting, can be treated with CBD.
Neuroprotective Properties – CBD offers remedies for some neurological disorders through its interactions with the endocannabinoid system.
Other benefits include:
- Better quality sleep
- Antipsychotic effects
- Diabetes prevention
- Heart health
- Treatment of substance abuse
- Antibacterial properties
- Decrease oxidative stress
Options in CBD Products
A look into the CBD industry reveals a wide range of products. Thus, giving users different options for using cannabidiol. Some of which include:
Edible CBD – There are several types of edible CBD products such as:
- Sweet treats
Oral CBD – There are products like CBD mouth sprays, oral strips, tinctures, and mints that are easily absorbed into the body through the mouth.
Inhalable CBD – Those who prefer not to drink or eat anything can choose to inhale CBD through vaping or smoking.
Apart from these other options include:
- Topical CBD
- Internal CBD
One irrevocable fact about medicinal marijuana and CBD? They are trendy! And for good reasons. However, you need a medical recommendation issued by a doctor before buying medical marijuana.
On the other hand, you can buy CBD online. Ultimately, it comes down to the rules and regulations governing the purchase and use of CBD and medicinal marijuana in your location.